SILICON VILLAGE

Friday, October 31, 2008

Financial crisis hits mobile phone market

According to IDC, third quarter shipment growth drops to 3.2 percent The worldwide mobile phone industry felt the impact of the global financial crisis in the third quarter of 2008 (3Q08) as total handset shipments were down significantly over previous quarters.

Mobile phone manufacturers shipped a total of 299.0 million handsets in 3Q08, up 3.2 percent from last year, and down -0.4 percent over 2Q08. The third quarter of the year has historically been a ramp-up quarter as manufacturers load their sales channels with handsets in preparation for the holiday season, producing year-over-year growth rates as high as 20 percent as a result.

This year has not witnessed a similar ramp up, largely due to the current economic situation.
Ryan Reith, senior research analyst, IDC's Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, said: "Handset vendors felt the pressures of the dismal economy in the third quarter of 2008, and as a result, shipments and revenues were down almost across the board. There were two signs of hope from two major players during third quarter earnings. First, as highly anticipated and now confirmed, Apple reported an extremely successful quarter and noted it is on pace to surpass its initial 2008 shipment estimates. Second Nokia's CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo announced a positive outlook for 2008 despite a tough third quarter. This offers reassurance to all industry players as Nokia has been a clear leader in the mobile phone space for quite some time."

Looking forward to the holiday season, mobile phone average selling prices have already begun to drop and marketing campaigns are ramping up, and competition for buyers will remain high as spending will be a concern to consumers. IDC expects tight economic conditions will make 2009 slower and more competitive as well.

Ramon T. Llamas, senior research analyst, IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends, said: "While the overall mobile phone market registered small growth compared to last year, the market for converged mobile devices (commonly known as smartphones) posted strong gains. The worldwide release of the Apple iPhone 3G earlier this summer marked a major step not only for Apple, but also raised the profile of converged mobile devices as a whole."

"Add on top of that the attention generated by the Google-powered G1, and the converged mobile device suddenly finds itself as the device sought by both seasoned and first-time users," he adds.

Blogger.com named popular blog platform in UK

ComScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, released a study of blog visitation in the U.K. examining the top blog platforms and individual blogs as ranked by total U.K. visitors.
The report mentioned that in August, 14.5 million people in the U.K. visited at least one blog, representing 41 per cent of the total U.K. Internet audience.

"Blogs have become part of the essential fabric of the Internet today," said Herve Le Jouan, managing director, comScore Europe.

Jouan commented, "They live and breathe in real-time, helping quench media consumers' thirst for the most up-to-date breaking news, information, and analysis."

The Blog platforms provide publishing software, enabling bloggers to create and manage their own blogs, which are hosted on the parent site.

Google owned Blogger.com was reported as the most popular blog platform in the U.K. that attracted more than 9 million visitors, followed by WordPress with 4.8 million visitors and Six Apart sites with 2.7 million visitors.

In the individual blog section the gadget blog, Engadget.com was ranked as the top individual blog in August with 243,000 visitors and the Gizmodo.com that was ranked third with 223,000 visitors.

The reality TV blog UnrealityTV.co.uk (225,000 visitors), gamer blog Kotaku.com (210,000 visitors), and community blog Metafilter.com (207,000 visitors) was rounded out as top five.
Using the comScore segment metrix H/M/L service, which provides analysis of online activity by heavy, medium and light users of the Internet and specific site categories, we can gain insight into other interests of blog visitors.

The report stated that 142 per cent are heavy blog users who more likely than the average Internet user and are more often associated with blogging.

Spammers cash in on financial crisis

While experts predict potential losses of $2.8 trillion as a result of the world financial crisis, the spamming industry could end October on profit

The worldwide financial crisis sparked an increase in spam production following the collapse of some big names in global banking, says BitDefender researchers. As the world's stock markets crashed, spammers deployed a number of scams promoting services that claimed to eliminate or leverage debts, mortgages, and other fiscal or loan obligations.

For example, a large spam wave targeting US residents advertised the services of a company that allegedly offered to help stop home foreclosures. The message speculated the latest bailout plan announced by the US president.

Based on a template used before the recession, additional spam campaigns featuring financial ads gained significant volume during the month of October. Usually limited to a single body or subject line, the messages direct users through web links to various web sites, most of which were pushing phishing schemes.

Other spam waves used the economic crisis as a simple decoy for advertising drugs, pirated software or replicas. Finally, one of the most recent spam attempts relied on a multiple combination of automatically generated and distributed junk e-mails and social networking profiles directing the targeted recipients to web sites where they can "leave debt behind."
Vlad Valceanu, head, BitDefender's Antispam Research, said: "It is extremely important for computer users to be cautious about the emails they receive, as well as the advertisements they chose to click on. Spammers are using the current economic state and computer users' worries to their advantage by targeting spam campaigns towards those looking for not only more information about the recession but also those looking for how to better their current financial status."

Virtualisation: Don't be fooled!

An influx of providers offering so called 'Virtualisation' services is leading to market confusion for many companies, according to managed IT services provider IT Lab.

Too many believe they are getting brilliant cost saving advantages by hosting virtually, but the reality is that most providers are still using dedicated physical hardware that ends up costing the customer far more!

Dom Monkhouse, managing director, IT Lab, explains: "Virtualisation is all about letting one server do the job of multiple servers, by sharing the resources of a single physical server across multiple environments. This reduces the need to buy more hardware, and enables one physical machine to run several different operating systems.

"Unfortunately, recent announcements in the press by ISPs and hosting providers are muddying the water. They are offering hardware redundancy and high availability for free as a result of virtualisation. The reality, in most cases, is that this 'virtualisation' is based on dedicated physical hardware. This is not virtualisation!

In fact, the customer will have to pay twice for two redundant servers to get one truly redundant virtual machine. Other ISP's are offering the choice between hybrid virtual and physical hosted environments. This, again, is not virtualisation! It's supposed to free clients from hardware, not mean they have to buy more!

"Virtualisation not only lets you host multiple operating systems, virtual servers and virtual desktops, it lets you host multiple applications both locally and further afield, freeing you from physical and geographical limitations. In the current economic climate, financial savings are essential. But, it's time ISP's stopped making up services in order to appear 'cutting edge' and actually developed a service that fits the exact needs of their customers.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Is Going Green Really More Cost Efficient?

Yes, is the answer. In a recent poll conducted by Hitachi Data Systems Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. and the only provider of Services Oriented Storage Solutions, an astounding 83% of the respondents stated that going green results in cost-savings, while 17% believed that that green measures are not necessarily cost efficient.

The online poll was conducted in conjunction with the ongoing Hitachi Data Systems IT Inspiration Awards that recognize and reward the best in technology deployment from across the Asia Pacific region. Open to all members of the public the awards website (www.hds.com/apac/itia) features snap polls on issues concerning the storage industry today, the results of which provide insights on the industry.

The frequently visited website has attracted the attention of a cross-section of IT professionals across the Asia-Pacific, and over 1000 votes have been received from them for the shortlisted nominations, so far. The award categories reflect the changes sweeping into technology industry today and also honours the best CIO in the region and in each participating country.

The issue of adopting green measures in the IT Industry is an ongoing topic of discussion. Hu Yoshida, VP and CTO, Hitachi Data Systems estimates that storage hardware accounts for approximately 25% of all power consumed in the data center. There is a clear environmental impact of the growing data burden and inefficient storage management and systems and cutting back on storage's power consumption can lower energy bills significantly resulting in cost savings.

"As environmental issues continue to escalate IT budget discussions, impact data center designs, and shape corporate social responsibility, there needs to be a closer linkage between the IT department and facilities planning. The IT manager has traditionally been focused on scalability and performance when making his purchasing decision leaving the facilities manager to worry about space and energy requirements. Organizations need to take a holistic approach and carefully examine how every facet of their data center can play a role in improving their environmental impact—and lowering escalating power consumption levels" said Natarajan Viswanathan, Vice President and Managing Director, India, Hitachi Data Systems.

Hitachi Data Systems, along with Hitachi, Ltd. has enjoyed a long history and proven track record for supplying environmentally friendly storage solutions to companies worldwide—a legacy that spans from the supply chain through to the manufacturing process. Hitachi Data Systems offers an eco-friendly and socially responsible approach to managing the explosive growth of data by providing customers with technologies and services that help them implement more environmentally friendly and cost effective storage solutions. For more information on Hitachi Data Systems green storage, please visit http://www.hds.com/green.

Hitachi Data Systems Asia Pacific IT Inspiration Awards 2008

The contest was initiated in August 2008 to recognize, honor and celebrate enterprises who have achieved outstanding success with Hitachi Data Systems solutions. Entries meeting the eligibility criteria will be judged by a panel of qualified judges from Hitachi Data Systems, IDC and Gartner. The award finalists are posted on the IT Inspiration Award Website and public voting for the winners in each category started on Tuesday, 9 September, 2008 and will close on October 17, 2008.

Based upon the results of public voting and the judging panel, the award recipients will be announced on November 6, 2008 at the IT Inspiration Awards Prize Presentation Ceremony at Cebu, Philippines held in conjunction with the Hitachi Data Systems APAC CIO Summit themed 'Inspire and Innovate – Best Practices for Managing the Explosive Growth of Data to Yield Business Results.

Tech results show resilience, future more gloomy

Microsoft Corp and a diverse group of technology companies met or beat Wall Street earnings targets, but uncertain outlooks undermined a short burst of enthusiasm from investors.
Microsoft itself initially gave investors some relief by dropping its forecast less than feared, but an after-hours rally in its shares fizzled.

"Even where earnings outperform expectations, there is still not a lot of good guidance going forward," said Diane Swonk, chief economist for Mesirow Financial. "It's very hard to give guidance, even if you have done well. It's very hard to know where the world is going."
Shares of Microsoft, whose products range from the Windows operating system to the Xbox video game system, were flat in extended trade after closing at $22.32.

"The company continues to set reasonable expectations and meet or beat them as they did here," said David Katz, chief investment officer of Matrix Asset Advisors. "The expectation was that they would bring down guidance, they only did that in a modest way. They seem to have a grasp on all their business."

Technology firms over the past few weeks have repeatedly complained of poor visibility into the December quarter and beyond, and worries about the global economy have prompted many to issue cautious forecasts.

Ingram Micro Inc, the world's biggest computer hardware distributor, elected to end its practice of issuing guidance altogether, citing the "unpredictability" of global markets. It reported quarterly sales declines in Europe and Asia, indicating that economic pain is spreading across the globe.

That report, combined with the forecast from Microsoft, are signs that technology spending will not hold up next year, said Fred Hickey, editor of the High-Tech Strategist Newsletter, a publication widely read by investors.

"The weakness has spread everywhere. All the regions are affected," he said. "They did not give much hope going forward. It's going to be a rough year."

Ingram shares were flat in extended trading after closing at $12.18. They've dropped 28 percent over the past month.

Flextronics International Ltd , the world's biggest contract manufacturer, reported adjusted results that met analysts' forecasts. Its shares added 4 percent after closing at $3.74, though they've lost half their value over the past month.

Hilliard Lyons analyst Thomas Carpenter said Flextronics' results were likely better than people were looking for, but said the future did not look promising. "There was a little bit of slowing in the quarter, mostly toward the end, and things are slowing further in this quarter. I think this is going to be a multi-quarter slowdown as we unwind the credit crunch."

More signs of slowing came from Juniper Networks Inc, which reported higher earnings and revenue but issued a cautious outlook, sending its shares down 5 percent from its close of $17.83. "A disaster scenario is already priced into the stock market. The uncertainty is where the fly in the ointment is," Swonk said.

Western Digital Corp, the world's second-largest maker of hard disk drives, said its net profit more than tripled, while revenue edged past analysts' average forecast. The company's shares were unchanged in after-hours trading after closing at $13.05.

Tektronix rolls out vector signal analysis software

Tektronix, a global leading supplier of test, measurement, and monitoring products, solutions and services for the communications, information technology and semiconductor industries has announcing the launch of SignalVu - its vector signal analysis software was launched globally on October 28. In an interview with Manu Sharma of CIOL Bureau, Sang-Wha Youn, Senior Maketing Manager, Asia Pacific, Tektronix answered a range of questions from the product launch to the size of the market in India and also about the current global financial impact on the economy. Excerpts:

CIOL: What are the special features of SignalVu that makes it different from other products available in the market?
Sang-Wha Youn:
The special features that makes a difference from other products includes:* High performance: Up to 20 GHz analog bandwidth enables direct measurement of Ku-band (12-18GHz) signals.
* Greater capability: - Advanced triggering to quickly find signals of interest (Pinpoint triggering capability enables up to 14,000 combinations of triggering condition for each 4 channels)- Deep acquisition memory provides more visibility of time varying signal behavior (60 times deeper memory than other solution)- Advanced triggering to quickly find signals of interest (Pinpoint triggering capability enables up to 14,000 combinations of triggering condition for each 4 channels) - Deep acquisition memory provides more visibility of time varying signal behavior (60 times deeper memory than other solution)
* Simplicity:- Fully integrated (in oscilloscope) for faster time-to-insight. - Automated pulse measurements and statistical analysis.* Lower cost: More than 30% inexpensive than other solution by integrating solution in a oscilloscope to support up to 20GHz without up-converter and system calibration.

CIOL: How is it better than any of the competitors' products in India?
SWY:
* Superior measurement capability when combined with Tektronix Digital Phosphor Oscilloscope– our wider analog bandwidth (20 GHz), higher ENOB and superior triggering benefits are directly applicable to SignalVu . As a radar and wideband solution, users can use the same test asset for making wideband microwave measurements on the same machine.
* Automated Pulse Measurements – radar engineers need to make a lot of standard pulse measurements on test waveforms. SignalVu software, makes 21 automated measurements on every pulse. other products offer only manual measurements forcing the user to locate and mark each pulse individually.
* Superior UI – Measurement type and navigation is far superior to other offerings. It takes fewer total mouse clicks and menu picks to display a desired measurement. The SignalVu UI is also common to the RSA6100A (Real Time Spectrum Analyzer) so users familiar with it will immediately know how to make any SA measurement with the Digital Phosphor Oscilloscope. The PSA, MXA and EXA have native UI mode for RF measurements and a VSA mode with a completely different UI for modulation measurements.

CIOL: What is the market size for products like SignalVu in India? How is it growing in India?
SWY:
It is hard to say market size. It is for research/development engineers/researcher for applications of Radar, Satellite Communications, Frequency Agile Communications, and Spectrum Monitoring. The applications are very important in India strategically and growing faster than average electronic industry. As the modulation schemes get more complex and communication systems require wider bandwidth to carry more data, we expect demand of the SignalVu in India will grow rapidly.

CIOL: What is the clientele (major takers) for this product?
SWY
: RF designers of Wideband RF and Microwave Systems who need to improve their time to insight while validating digital RF circuits and systems. Target applications are mentioned at above #3.

CIOL: Does Tektronix have any manufacturing unit in India? If not is the company planning to set up one for the manufacturing of such products?
SWY:
As a world leader in test, measurement and monitoring, Tektronix is committed to supporting India's development as a global center for technology innovation and the design of advanced digital products and services for the New Digital World. Tektronix Development Center is located in Bangalore to develop software applications for test, measurement and monitoring.

CIOL: At this time when the inflation is impacting most of the sectors across, how is the T&M industry functioning? To what extent is this industry affected?
SWY:
We don't have something to share at this moment. Although business environment gets tougher, Tektronix commits to keep providing customers with excellent value solutions and services.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

India Inc may lay off 25pc jobs in 10 days

ASSOCHAM said the job cuts would be across the steel, cement, construction, real estate, aviation, IT-enabled services and financial services sectors Indian firms are likely to lay off a quarter of their employees in the next 10 days, as part of steps to contain costs in the face of shrinking margins amidst the economic turmoil, an industry body said on Wednesday.

Trade body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) said the job cuts would be across the steel, cement, construction, real estate, aviation, IT-enabled services and financial services sectors.

Expansion has slowed in Asia's third-largest economy in the last two quarters, from the 8 per cent or more annual growth in the past four years, with high interest rates crimping demand and on the global financial crisis.

The central bank last week cut its forecast for growth in 2008/09 to 7.5-8 per cent from its earlier view of 8 per cent. This compares with the economy's 9 per cent growth in 2007/08.

"Employers have no other alternatives as part of their corporate strategy ... for sustaining their operations with squeezed margins (even) after after drastic cost cutting measures," ASSOCHAM said in a statement.

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